American Patent law is a mess. When a small section of law ends up being appealed to the United States Supreme Court so often, it is an indication that: The law is badly written Powerful interest groups are trying to bend the law There is a lot of money at stake This is the […]
Understanding and Misunderstanding I want everyone to understand – I’m not picking on Gene. While Gene and I disagree on a lot of issues, he’s a nice guy. But this time he’s wrong (link to his article is above).
It was with some amusement that I read Martin Goetz’s ‘In Defense of Software Patents – Part 2‘. I was even more amused when the post was apparently pulled from Patently O. Curiously there’s no statement as to why it was pulled. It just disappeared. Unfortunately for them, I kept a copy. I don’t agree […]
I’ve mostly been ignoring this up till now, but I think it’s time to take a look at it. This is an interesting situation. Oracle is suing Google over the Java programming language. There are several issues that neither has to the present addressed. First, there’s an article that Jonathon Schwartz published on his blog […]
The problem is that corporations are effectively sociopaths. They have no morals. They see no tomorrow. The only thing that matters is today’s profits. While certain individuals controlling corporations are less short sighted, the vast majority aren’t. The corporation may be your ally today. Tomorrow, it may be your enemy.
To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;
If we take the argument that Congress MUST do everything under Section Eight, would someone please explain to me why Congress has not issued a Letter of Marque in over a hundred years? Obviously Congress isn’t following the Constitution! Quick, impeach them! For that matter they have to declare WAR – they don’t have any choice in the matter, that’s what the Constitution says. And the line that everyone squeals about is worded in the same way.
As it says above, one of the major reasons that patent law was standardized was so that ‘arbitrary monopolies’ couldn’t be granted. Say that somehow I gain a patent on table salt, even though it’s been in use for thousands of years. That patent would be an unearned license to print money, since I didn’t invent table salt, and that’s one of the things that patent law is designed to prevent.
Now I don’t know that this is what happened, but from what I can see, it’s the only thing that makes sense with the patents that HTC holds. Microsoft pays HTC a lot of cash, so that HTC will pay Microsoft a small amount of cash per phone. Oh, there’s a bit of accounting work involved, but HTC comes out well ahead financially, and Microsoft can scream at everyone that HTC is paying it for using Android, and actually be telling the truth (the SEC gets upset if you don’t tell the truth).
I’ve linked to Amazon a lot in the past. I often mention books, and always provide a link to where the book can be bought. I often talk about computer sales numbers, and Amazon’s top selling list is really handy. But then Amazon signs a deal with Microsoft. A deal in which Microsoft claims that the agreement covers Amazon’s use of Linux based servers.
So if you are considering a lawsuit against a competitor who uses Free and Open Source Software in the product you claim infringes on your patents or copyrights, don’t expect the community to like what you are doing, and do expect them to do something about it.